Solid results for Labour as Conservatives falter in the local elections


Labour picked up three seats to add to the four they had.

Outside London, the Conservatives regained control of councils in the pro-Brexit regions of Peterborough and Basildon, largely at the expense of the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Far from seizing control of the key target borough of Barnet, Labour saw it fall into the hands of Conservatives amid indications that Mr Corbyn's party was hit by allegations of anti-Semitism in an area with a large Jewish population.

As so much BBC news was devoted to describing Labour's election night as a story about anti-Semitism, many took to social media to say imagine how this story would have been reported if the Labour Party had done something so despicable to win a council.

The pressure is on Prime Minister Theresa May to get Brexit sorted in a deal acceptable to Brexiteers and Corbyn's inconclusive gains will give the Labour moderates a new reason to challenge their party's leader.

Lib Dem leader Vince Cable, whose party has struggled in recent years after losing support for going into government with the Conservatives, said: "We are very much on the way back".

A mixed set of results left both Labour and the Tories claiming success, with the Conservatives holding on to "crown jewel" authorities in London including Wandsworth and Westminster.

The uncertainty over the direction of Brexit and an ongoing scandal over the treatment of Britons from the Commonwealth by Britain's Home Office failed to wreak the damage that many had predicted in local elections held this week, the results of which emerged on Friday.

The political balance of the council is now Conservatives, 25 seats; Labour 15 seats, Liberal Democrats nine seats.

Although the results are undoubtedly yet another blow to the Eurosceptic party, UKIP's General Secretary Paul Oakley insisted that the party will make a return after a period of being "dormant", likening them to the Black Death, which killed up to 30 million people according to estimates.

Fair enough, as Labour targeted Wandsworth and deployed a significant number of activists to campaign door to door.

"I think it's been a good night for us and it's been a terrible night for Labour", Lewis said on BBC radio.

In Barnet, former Labour councillor Adam Langleben voiced his anger at the impact which the row over anti-Semitism had on his party's fortunes. He is not anti-semitic but there are people in the Labour Party now who are'.

"Having said that the expectation in mid-term local elections is always that it's the opposition party making progress, and Labour hasn't really done that", he added.

Of the 10 council areas where Unseat events were held, five resulted in victory for the Conservatives, two in no overall control, and three are yet to be announced.

Speaking to the Recorder, he said: "I will serve as the group leader until our meeting in mid-May when the group will appoint my successor".

No other parties are represented on the council, although the Greens narrowly missed out on unseating Labour in Old Hastings - there were 29 votes in it.

"This is a shameless and cynical move that makes an absolute mockery of the pledge and shows the nasty party never went away". No community group should have their vote dictated by their safety.

Prof Curtice told the BBC: "If you take the wards where over 4 per cent of the electorate called themselves Jewish in the 2011 census, the Labour vote typically is about four points less good in such wards than elsewhere".

"Think of the Black Death in the Middle Ages".

"Our time isn't finished because Brexit is being betrayed".